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Expert Papers

GRaBS Expert Paper 1: The case for climate change adaptation

The first GRaBS Expert Paper 'The case for climate change adaptation' was launched at Greenbuild Expo in Manchester in June 2009.

Professor John Handley, Chair of the GRaBS Expert Panel and Professor at the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology at the University of Manchester, said:

“Climate change is already with us and the urban environment amplifies the impacts. Green and blue infrastructure has a substantial role to play in adapting our towns and cities to climate change and, as this paper highlights, policy responses are needed from an international and European level through to the national and local level.”

Speaking at the Greenbuild Expo conference, TCPA Energy Policy Manager Kate Henderson, the author of the paper, said:

“This first GRaBS expert paper sets out the case for climate change adaptation and, in particular, argues that people or places facing poverty and disadvantage must not be disproportionately affected by climate change, or by policy or practice responses to it.”

“Adaptation means learning to live with more extreme weather events and changing weather patterns, and preparing for other changes that are unavoidable. To succeed under a changing climate individuals, organisations, and governments will all have to do some things differently. Through policy at all levels – international to local - there must be a clear consensus on the need for adaptation and climate change adaptation strategies must ensure decisive action.”

From Greece to Manchester, Lithuania to Austria, Italy to Sweden and Slovakia to Southampton the 14 partners, drawn from eight member states, represent a broad spectrum of authorities, climate change challenges and varying degrees of strategic policy and experience.

As this paper highlights, the impacts of a changing climate in Europe could be severe. Through study visits, sharing best practice and advancing the knowledge and expertise of partner staff in the GRaBS project, decision makers, politicians and communities, and regional and local municipalities across Europe, will be able to make a more informed and strategic response to climate change adaptation. In the long term communities will reduce their vulnerability to the environmental, social and economic damage related to climate change impacts including extreme temperature increases and flooding incidents, helping protect vulnerable coastal communities and those at risk of drought.

See www.grabs-eu.org for further information about the GRaBS project. The project has been co-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and made possible by the INTERREG IVC Programme.

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